"First Nations was the first Native-governed and led nonprofit social enterprise ever created that was exclusively committed to Native American control of tribal assets. It has been working to restore control and culturally-compatible stewardship of those assets – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – ever since," writes B. Thomas Vigil (Jicarilla Apache/Jemez Pueblo) Chairman, Board of Directors, First Nations Development Institute.
From the First Nations' website:
Our mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities.
With the support of individuals, foundations, corporate and tribal donors, First Nations Development Institute improves economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance & training, advocacy & policy, and direct financial grants in five key areas:
- Achieving Native Financial Empowerment
- Investing in Native Youth
- Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions
- Advancing Household & Community Asset-Building Strategies
- Nourishing Native Foods & Health
First Nations Development Institute is co-leading with Echo Hawk Consulting Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions, a groundbreaking project made possible by a $2.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This initiative will consolidate and build upon previous research efforts in order to create a long-term, Native-led movement that will positively transform the popular image of and narrative about Native Americans.
From 2016-2018, our team will work with an advisory committee of Native leaders, stakeholders, and racial equity experts and advocates to understand the underlying reasons for society’s negative and inaccurate perceptions of Native Americans. Based on this improved understanding, we will have the tools necessary to build consensus around tackling this long-standing problem.